How’s everyone been? I’ve been absent from the blogging world lately, both reading and writing, mostly due to the usual suspects: work, sick kid, more work, etc.
I’ve had time to play games, though, especially since my daughter had days off school and was house-bound all weekend. Normally, she’d be logging in to run around in WoW, but about 10 days ago, she asked me if I’d level her Death Knight up to 80, so she could see the Northrend and the new stuff added in the Lich King expansions. She has no interest in fighting mobs in WoW; she’s mostly a tourist, enjoying the landscapes and cityscapes Blizzard creates. Unfortunately, after three years of off-and-on WoW, I’ve got zero interest in leveling anything in Azeroth.
She was briefly dismayed, but quickly got a hopeful look in her eyes again. Cartoon Network has been running Wizard 101 commercials, which we played during last year’s beta. We both enjoyed it, and she asked if we could check it out again.
Since it’s free to play in the starting City (which has quite a bit of content if you’re curious about the game), we downloaded and tried it out. She quickly realized she’d rather be playing Wizard 101, and I noticed that there’s a family subscription plan, $6.95 per person. When she played WoW, she was creating characters on my account. In Wizard 101, for the same money as one WoW sub, we could each have our own accounts and play alongside each other.
When she turned to me and asked if we could subscribe to WoW, offering to cancel WoW and Pixiehollow, we had a deal. And we’ve had a blast running around as a duo in Wizard City.
I noticed that she was much more willing to work her way through quests in Wizard 101, compared to WoW where she hardly ever bothered to quest or fight mosters. When I asked her why that was, she replied that the pace of the combat in Wizard 101, and the one-on-one fights, were more manageable than WoW’s real-time combat, where you have to make sure you pull a single mob and avoid adds if you want one-on-one fights.
We’ll see how long her comfort level lasts. As you get higher in level, you sometimes fight two monsters at once (or maybe more, I’m not sure). She’s already taken out boss-level monsters, though, and they’re frequently 2-mob fights, so maybe she’s up for it.
I think she gets bored of leveling, though. Some days she just wants to log in to run around and tell stories. Yesterday, she dragged me all around the Commons, the Library, and the training area where the student dorms and teachers are, making up stories about needing to find rare books, exploring nooks and crannies, and basically pretending she was the wizard she was controlling. I think I’ve got a budding roleplayer on my hands.
I’m really enjoying the game as well, with an alt who’s higher level than the main that I created to play alongside my daughter. I’ve never been hooked by CCG’s, but I can see the appeal, especially in a game where I don’t have to worry about the expense of buying booster packs. As I get more cards in my deck, and the combat gets a little more complicated, I’m finding the strategy of card choice and battle order to be pretty engaging. It’s a welcome change of pace from Diku-style leveling, and I think I’ll be playing for a while.